Q: Does an exclusive buyer’s agent normally split the commission with the seller’s agent?
Since he’s willing to split the commission, should I worry that he might be acting more like a dual agent and looking out for the seller’s best interest?
A: Exclusive buyer agents normally get paid by getting a share of the commission. But they notify the seller’s agent upfront that they only represent the buyer’s interest in the transaction. This is how you, the buyer, are protected.
The nice thing about an exclusive buyer’s agent is that you never have to worry about the agent being a dual agent. Exclusive buyer’s agents never represent sellers, just buyers.
In general, the only time I think you have to be worried about how the commission is split is when there is a true dual agency: The agent representing the seller also represents you. When this happens, some agents will ask another agent to represent the buyer so that the buyer has some sort of independent representation.
I wouldn’t worry much about how the agents split the commission. What matters is that your agent has signed an agency disclosure notice that lets you know that the agent owe his or her fiduciary duty to you. In other words, your exclusive buyer agent is legally supposed to help you find the best deal.
Finally, when you think about the agents splitting the commission, remember that without you, the buyer, there is no money to pay the commission.